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Philippines, China foreign ministers reaffirm ties

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West Philippine Sea
The meeting between the foreign ministers came weeks after Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. said the Philippines won’t follow China’s policy of keeping the US out of the South China Sea.

The Philippines and China foreign ministers reaffirmed the “continuing vitality” of their countries’ relations amid recent tensions in the South China Sea.

China Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted Philippines counterpart Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. at a meeting in Tengchong City, in the southern province of Yunnan, on Saturday to discuss political and economic cooperation, according to a statement issued by Manila.

Mr. Wang affirmed China’s commitment to support the Philippines’ infrastructure program, it said.

“The two foreign ministers also engaged in a candid and in-depth exchange on regional security concerns, as well as issues of mutual interest in the context of ASEAN-China relations in which the Philippines acts as China coordinator,” the statement said.

The meeting came weeks after Mr. Locsin said the Philippines won’t follow China’s policy of keeping the US out of the South China Sea, and President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s remarks before the United Nations that the Philippines will “firmly reject attempts to undermine” a 2016 arbitral ruling in its favor in the maritime dispute. — Clarissa Batino/Bloomberg

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